If you’re like me, you enjoy watching reruns of The Office – one of the greatest television comedy series of all time (don’t @ me) – on Comedy Central from time to time (read: all the time). I caught an episode recently that not only had me thinking about fantasy football analysis, but life in general.
Our hero (anti-hero?), Regional Manager Michael Scott comes up with a Willy Wonka inspired Golden Ticket promotion giving the customers a 50% discount on that order of paper. The gimmick goes awry when the boss puts all of the lucky coupons on the same order for one of their largest clients leading to a huge revenue loss. When the CFO of the company demands a meeting, Michael convinces his yes-man Assistant (to the) Regional Manager Dwight Schrute to take the blame for the idea.
Hilarity ensues when Dwight is commended for the creativity, driving his boss absolutely crazy! Our main character ends up coming clean making only one (unreasonable) request from the whole ordeal, “I do want the credit without any of the blame.”
The Dizzying Victory Laps
There seems to be an epidemic on fantasy football Twitter (specifically on the dynasty side of things) to take an immediate victory lap when a prediction appears correct. The same echo chamber filled with creative GIFs gloating about how Josh Allen is the second coming of Ben Roethlisberger one week is filled with the same GIFs from different sources proclaiming the Buffalo rookie an unquestioned bust the next. I have no immunity to the victory lap virus as I was (am) more than proud of being an early redraft believer of both Alvin Kamara and JuJu Smith-Schuster a season ago.
At first, I thought the entire fantasy industry had a case of ‘the Michael Scott’s’ where we wanted to shout our victories from the rooftop while trying to brush aside our failures. However, this is not the case at all as the answer is much more complicated. Certain members of the general public love have no issues reminding us of our misses.
We are not Biff Tannen
The dial was turned to Sirius XM Fantasy Monday morning when I heard a voicemail from a listener who was less than pleased regarding the advice he received for his week five lineup. The man asked the personalities on the channel to “Stop making wrong predictions”. I was floored. Did this man think not only the hosts on the channel but the entire fantasy football industry was purposely giving him bad advice? Does he think Scott Fish or Howard Bender are in their pre-show meetings creating ways to destroy this gentleman’s fantasy squad?
SPOILER ALERT: fantasy analysts do not have a copy of Biff Tannen’s almanac from Back to the Future II, thus lacking the ability to predict the future with flawless accuracy. I promise if we had prior knowledge before Sunday that Aaron Jones was going to become a ghost in the second half or Julio Jones would be mediocre against the Steelers porous secondary, the fantasy football consuming public would have been made aware.
As fantasy football prognosticators, we make educated guesses based on countless hours of researching analytical statistics, coaching tendencies/gameplans, matchup data, etc. A matchup which appeared to be can’t miss on paper all week can do just that come Sunday. As Sportscenter anchor Kenny Mayne puts it, “…games aren’t played on paper, they are played by little men inside our TV sets.” Football, especially at its highest level, can be an unpredictable game and if you’re expecting fantasy analysts to be perfect in their predictions then you will ALWAYS be disappointed.
Taking Accountability and Changing Course
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